Every home has a Christmas village. It is difficult to say where the Christmas village trend started, or even when you got your own first tiny Christmas house. But, by now, you probably have enough to make a good-sized ceramic town in your living room, and it is important that you set up your village in an attractive and functional way.
Getting Christmas Village decorations right takes patience, a good eye and quite a bit of equipment. Here are the steps you should follow to ensure your Christmas Village looks good all season long.
Stick to a Village Theme
Is your village celebrating rural Americana, or is it straight out of Dickens’s Victorian England? Does your village look like it belongs in the North Pole, or is it a tropical Christmas village? Or, do you integrate all of these elements and more into a single village scene?
As fun as it is to find and collect all manner of Christmas village accoutrements, a village that includes too many disparate elements looks haphazard. You should survey your current village to see which theme dominates and investing in other pieces to flesh out this main village concept. You can get rid of your buildings and accessories that don’t fit in, or you can set up multiple disparate Christmas villages around your home, even building one outside amidst your other outdoor Christmas décor if your regional climate allows.
Measure out the Size of your Village
Before you start buying every Christmas village item that fits your theme, you should think critically about where you are going to display your village. Many people move furniture in their homes to make room for their village during the Christmas season, while others use existing horizontal surfaces, like credenzas, bookshelves and mantles, to showcase their village. Regardless, you should measure out the space you want to fill with your village, so you know how much area you have to work with.
Then, you should consider creating a platform for your village to rest on. Even if you are using existing furniture as the stand for your village, having a wooden platform to place on top of your furniture has its benefits: It will protect your furniture from being scratched by the unfinished ceramic underneath your village buildings and accessories, and it will keep your village organized from year to year. Most hardware stores will cut large pieces of wood for you, so you can get a platform made to the right dimensions even if you don’t have power tools at home.
Lay the Right Foundation
No Christmas village is complete if it doesn’t have some kind of artificial ground. Even the most impeccably curated Christmas village that is perfectly themed with gorgeous, expensive accessories will fall flat if it is resting on regular furniture.
You can find all manner of artificial ground sold alongside Christmas village decorations; sheets of cottony fake snow are common, but this ground often makes it difficult for smaller accessories to stand up. Other solutions include large pieces of white leather or cardboard painted white and spritzed with fake snow. Then again, if your village isn’t in a snowy environment, you might use sand, artificial turf or some other foundation.
A ghost town is not particularly festive for the winter holidays. Though the buildings of your Christmas village are undeniably the largest and most eye-catching elements of your display, they shouldn’t stand alone. You should dress up the spaces around your buildings with all sorts of little details that bring the village to life. At the very least, your town needs people to mill around shops or between houses, but an even better village scene will include streets, cars, lanterns, trees, animals and other bits and bobs you might see in a real village during the holidays. These elements you can shift around from year to year or even throughout this Christmas season to make the village feel more alive.
Remember the Setup for Next Year
Because a Christmas village takes a good amount of time to set up, you should try to minimize the amount of energy you need to expend in coming years by taking extensive notes on your village once it looks the way you like it. You can use your platform to draw out where each building goes, but you might also want to take pictures of the setup to store with your village decorations. However, if you acquire new buildings between this year and next, you might need to shift your plans around to accommodate the new structure.
Your Christmas village is totally unique because no one else has collected the exact same buildings and accessories. You can celebrate the season with a beautifully planned Christmas village that could be nowhere else but inside your home.
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